"Live, Laugh, Love": Follies Begins City Center Encores! Run Feb. 8

News   "Live, Laugh, Love": Follies Begins City Center Encores! Run Feb. 8
Victoria Clark, Donna Murphy, Victor Garber and Michael McGrath head the cast of the eagerly awaited City Center Encores! production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies, which features direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw.
Emily Fletcher, Michael McGrath and Kristen Beth William perfom
Emily Fletcher, Michael McGrath and Kristen Beth William perfom "Buddy's Blues" from Follies. Photo by Joan Marcus

The classic musical — set in 1971 at a party on the stage of the deteriorating Weismann Theatre — kicks off the Encores! season, playing Feb. 8-12. Clark portrays Sally Durant Plummer with Murphy as Phyllis Stone, Garber as Benjamin Stone and McGrath as Buddy Plummer.

The remainder of the starry cast boasts Philip Bosco as Dimitri Weismann, Robert Fitch as Theodore Whitman, Christine Baranski as Carlotta Campion, Mimi Hines as Hattie Walker, Lucine Amara as Heidi Schiller, Joanne Worley as Stella Deems, Gerry Vichi as Max Deems, Arthur Rubin as Roscoe, Yvonne Constant as Solange, Leena Chopra as Young Heidi, Dorothy Stanley as Dee Dee West, Diane J. Findlay as Sandra Cranes, Anne Rogers as Emily Whitman, Curtis Holbrook as Young Buddy, Katie Klaus as Young Sally, Jenny Powers as Young Phyllis, Colin Donnell as Young Ben, Cameron Adams as Young Hattie, Shannon Marie O'Bryan as Young Solange, Denise Payne as Young Emily, Jenifer Foote as Young Sandra, Natalie King as Young Dee Dee, Ashlee Fife as Young Stella, Jennifer Mathie as Young Carlotta, Kristen Beth Williams and Emily Fletcher as Showgirls and Clyde Alves as Kevin.

The ensemble comprises Ben Hartley, Brian Marcum, Andrew Fitch, Matt Wall, JD Webster and Barrett Martin.

Eric Stern is the guest music director for Follies. The creative team also includes John Lee Beatty (scenic consultant), Tom Morse (sound), William Ivey Long and Gregg Barnes (costume consultants), Ken Billington (lighting), Seymour Red Press (music coordinator) and Jonathan Tunick (original orchestrations).

Song titles in the Encores! production include "Beautiful Girls," "Don't Look at Me," "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs," "Rain on the Roof," "Ah, Paris!," "Broadway Baby," "The Road You Didn't Take," "Bolero d'Amour," "In Buddy's Eyes," "Who's That Woman?," "I'm Still Here," "Too Many Mornings," "The Right Girl," "One More Kiss," "Could I Leave You?," "Loveland," "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow," "Love Will See Us Through," "The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues," "Losing My Mind," "The Story of Lucie and Jessie" and "Live, Laugh, Love." Follies, with songs by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Goldman, was originally directed by Harold Prince on Broadway in 1971. Since then, it has received a legendary star-filled concert at Lincoln Center in 1985, a Roundabout revival on Broadway directed by Matthew Warchus in 2001, and numerous regional mountings, including a Paper Mill Playhouse engagement that featured Donna McKechnie and the late Ann Miller.

Victoria Clark received a 2005 Tony Award for her performance in The Light in the Piazza. Her other Broadway credits include Cabaret, Urinetown, Titanic, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Guys and Dolls and A Grand Night for Singing. Among Clark's screen credits are "Cradle Will Rock," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU" and "Sweeney Todd in Concert." As a director, she recently helmed the 92nd Street Y's "Lyrics & Lyricists" series Serenade in Blue: The Mack Gordon Song Calvacade.

Donna Murphy received Tony Awards for her performances in Stephen Sondheim's Passion and the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I. Her other Broadway credits include Wonderful Town, They're Playing Our Song, The Human Comedy and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Murphy's screen credits include "Murder One," "The Day Lincoln Was Shot," "Star Trek: Insurrection," "Hack" and "The Last Debate." She will return to Broadway later this season in LoveMusik.

Victor Garber received Tony nominations for his performances in Damn Yankees, Lend Me a Tenor, Deathtrap and Little Me. His other Broadway credits include Arcadia, Noises Off and Sweeney Todd. His numerous screen credits include "Titanic," "The First Wives Club," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Legally Blonde," "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," "Alias" and "Justice." Garber was previously seen in the Encores! production of Of Thee I Sing.

Michael McGrath currently stars in Spamalot as Patsy, a role that earned the actor Tony and Drama Desk nominations. His other Broadway credits include Wonderful Town, Little Me, Swinging On a Star, The Goodbye Girl and My Favorite Year. McGrath has previously been part of the Encores! presentations of The Boys From Syracuse and DuBarry Was a Lady.

Show times for Follies are Feb. 8 and 9 at 8 PM, Feb. 10 at 2 and 8 PM, Feb. 11 at 6:30 PM and Feb. 12 at 7 PM.

Tickets are available by visiting the New York City Center box office, which is located on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues; by calling (212) 581-1212; or by logging on to www.nycitycenter.org. Tickets are priced $25, $50, $90 and $95.

Katie Klaus and Colin Donnell (Background), Victoria Clark and Victor Garber in the Encores! production of <i>Follies</i>.
Katie Klaus and Colin Donnell (Background), Victoria Clark and Victor Garber in the Encores! production of Follies. Photo by Joan Marcus
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